The Bar Stories: A Novel After All

Nisa Donnelly, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-312-02544-1
Subtitled A Novel After All , these polished and smartly paced stories about lesbians in love loosely revolve around Babe Daniels's bar in Oakland, Calif. Leading off is the tale of how Babe left the Roller Derby, rescued Sharon Winston and her baby Tara from a home for unwed mothers, and got them to California, where Babe began working in the bar she finally buys. The bar draws women from all over: Kate Solomon, a terminally ill, Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist, leaves her lover Crissy to drive a van across the country, searching for the lesbian nation. Fearless Faye Fletcher is a regular--an old Roller Derby queen and early lover of Babe's, now a drunken has-been, defeated by the death of her young daughter. The members of Babe's softball team, the Dykeball Losers, have their stories; Sharon, bothered by Babe's promiscuity, wonders what she wants from her relationship. Lesbians of many stripes--timid, tough, fearful, assertive--people the pages with some fairly explicit sex and a hard-to-believe buoyancy. Donnelly, billed as the lesbian Damon Runyon, writes as though she were cheerleading. But when she steers clear of sentimentality, cliche and melodrama, her stories are lively, moving and ring true. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-312-03795-6
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